FOR retired cager Benjie Paras and his son Kobe, the title conquest of Gilas Cadets in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball gold medal means many things to them and their family.
This is a double celebration for both of them and their family.
That’s because, like Bong Ravena and his son Kiefer, both have experienced winning a gold medal in the SEA Games.
That’s because the elder Benjie was a member of a national cage team that won the gold medal in 1987.
“It made me happy (to know) na kami ni Kiefer are like the next generations of our dads (in the SEA Games),” said the 19-year-old Paras.
Paras was with members of the national team, their coaches Chot Reyes and Jong Uichico, along with officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas during a victory lunch at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas.
Bounty Fresh and Chooks to Go president and CEO Ronald Mascarinas hosted a lunch for Gilas Pilipinas and triathlon champion Nikko Huelgas for the gold medal victories in the biennial meet.
Gilas Cadets reasserted its dominance in the Southeast Asian region when they ruled the 29th SEA Games men’s basketball after beating Indonesia, 94-55, last Saturday.
Immediately after the game, Kobe’s dad Benjie texted Kobe, informing him that he and Team Pilipinas won the gold 30 years, and also when he was 19.
“This is 2 generations (of players) na naka-gold sa SEA Games. Parang si Bong nung 1991, at ngayon, si Kiefer,” said the elder Paras, who had Ronnie Magsanoc, Nelson Asaytono, Joey Guanio and Bong Alvarez as his teammates at that time.
Now that the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang is just around the corner, the elder Paras hopes that his son will still be part of Gilas.
Back in 1990, Benjie was part of the national squad that won the silver.
“If he’s there, and we win, that’s another trivia for the Paras family,” added Benjie.
For now, Gilas Pilipinas is now getting ready to join the qualifiers for the FIBA Asia through its home and away games.
In getting ready, the coaching staff, led by Chot Reyes, are thinking of joining tournaments in Japan, Australia and Taipei to get in shape.
Their journey to the SEA Games gold began with a tough win by Thailand, and after hurdlingthe preliminaries with wins over Myanmar and Malaysia.
They then overcame their semifinals clash with Singapore.